While many people can’t wait for retirement, others love their job so much they keep at it a little longer. Or a lot longer, as is the case of Henry-York “Hank” Steiner. At the still spry age of 87, the professor of English is retiring after 61 years of university teaching, 50 of which were here at Eastern.
Steiner will leave behind a lasting legacy. He helped create and nurture several programs at EWU, among them American Indian Studies, Africana Studies, Chicano Education, University Honors and Environmental Science. He taught graduate and undergraduate courses in a wide range of subject areas, among them Eastern religion, JRR Tolkien and classical poetics and rhetoric.
In a recent edition of the College of Arts, Letters and Education newsletter, Steiner’s colleague Dana Elder, a professor of English, wrote that Steiner would long be remembered for “his intellect, compassion and integrity.”
“He has been a model and mentor to generations of students and faculty,” Elder wrote.
The English department hosted a “martini bash” last Friday to send Steiner off in style. As the bartenders shook the martinis, dozens of colleagues, friends, family and former students surrounded Steiner to wish him well. When asked what he plans to do with his time now, Steiner said he hopes to travel, sail and finally have time for his lifelong passion, writing.